What is Trello? Here's what you need to know about the online project management tool

·4 min read
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Trello is a project management tool that offers simple yet effective features, making it a popular choice. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
  • Trello is a popular project management and team collaboration tool.

  • The app looks and works like yellow stickies on a whiteboard — you can organize teams, projects and workflows by simply dragging and dropping cards around the screen.

  • Here's a brief overview of how Trello works, what it looks like, and how to buy it.

  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Trello is a project management and team collaboration tool. Trello has a similar appearance to a board with sticky notes - projects and tasks can be organized into columns and moved around easily to indicate workflow, project ownership, and status.

Trello's popularity largely comes from its simplicity. While traditional project management tools are designed for professional project managers and use complex techniques like Gantt charts that are not easy to use or understand, Trello emphasizes ease of use - most people can grasp the basics of Trello in minutes and be successful using it alone or as part of a team within a day.

Even so, Trello is powerful. Tasks can contain rich information including images and file attachments, plus they can be assigned deadlines and other status tracking data. Tasks can also contain notes, which allow team members to track progress, and specific people can be flagged for action and follow up.

Trello also supports integration with hundreds of third-party apps and services, such as Google Drive, OneDrive, GitHub, Slack, Jira, and many more. It also supports many custom plug-ins designed expressly for Trello - like one that can make a burndown chart based on your Trello board and another that can "snooze" cards until a specified date or time.

What to know about Trello

A Trello account supports multiple boards. You can think of a board as an overall project that one or more people are working on. A board looks like this:

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Trello is composed primarily of a board with lists and cards. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
  • Board: The overall workspace is the board, and it can contain any number of lists and cards.

  • Lists: A list in Trello is a column that contains cards. How you use and organize lists is entirely up to you and the needs of your project. For example, each list could be a person on the team, and the board tracks everyone's tasks. Or you can organize the list as a workflow, in which each card is moved from one list to another as tasks are processed and completed.

  • Cards: The card is the smallest unit in Trello and is typically used to identify tasks that need to be performed. Not only does the card have a name, but if you open the card it can contain file attachments, images, notes, and more. You can also create a template for cards so that they contain standard information, like a team checklist, if needed. Cards can be opened and edited with a click, and moving cards between lists is as easy as dragging and dropping, so new users can get started with little training.

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A Trello card can contain attachments, notes, a checklist, and more. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Trello pricing

To get started with Trello, go to the Trello website and sign up with your email address for a free account. Trello is primarily used as a web app, but there is a mobile app version available for free, as well. Users can use the web version, mobile app, or switch between them.

The service has three pricing tiers.

Free: The free version of Trello includes a maximum of 10 boards, but there's no limit on how many lists or cards each board can have. File attachments are limited to 10 MB, though.

Business class: Priced at $9.99 per user per month, this level gives you access to an unlimited number of boards and file attachments in cards up to 250 MB each. Trello also includes premium features like advanced checklist features, customizable backgrounds and templates for boards, and more.

Enterprise: The highest tier starts at $17.50 per user per month, but the price drops incrementally as you increase the number of seats; the lowest rate, for example, is $7.38 per user per month for 5,000 users. This tier includes everything at the Business Class Level, with some additional administration and security features, as well.

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